Three Chinese nationals arrested for illegally importing textiles to Kano in northwest Nigeria will be deported, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The announcement followed the seizure of $1.5 billion worth of contraband textiles stored in 75 warehouses in Kano.
Immigration officials discovered that three out of five detainees held under suspicion of smuggling did not possess valid travel documents to reside or engage in any business in Nigeria. Investigations into the status of the other two are ongoing.
Comptroller General of Immigration David Parradang said the NIS would step up routine operations in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants, adding that, “those who are law-abiding and contribute to the national economic development through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and technology transfer will be encouraged and given every possible assistance.”
Local traders have protested against the importation and sale of cheaper, mass-produced Chinese textiles in Nigeria, and the Masu Rini Progressive Association has said more than 30,000 textile dyers could lose their jobs if it continues.
In May 2012, 45 illegal Chinese textile traders were arrested and deported after repeated complaints.